Cinco de Mayo Budgetary Survival Guide

Cinco de Mayo Budgetary Survival Guide

It's been seven weeks since the last drinking holiday that masquerades as a cultural celebration"”St. Patrick's Day"”so what better time than now to have another one?

Enter Cinco de Mayo. Sure, an improbable victory over the French in a war that didn't even result in your country's independence is a shady reason for a holiday. And, sure, Cinco de Mayo is widely ignored throughout the country whose culture its supposed to be celebrating, but when else are you going to be able to whip out that sombrero you bought for your fifth grade social studies report on Mexico?

This year, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Wednesday and we all know how draining a wild mid-week celebration (again, just over a victory against the French) can be to your wallet and/or credit line.

Your best bet is to invite a few friends over, watch The Three Amigos, have a few Coronas and call it a night. However, if you're a normal person and want to go out and celebrate, here are a couple of steps you can follow so you won't have to wake up May 6 with a major hangover and a load of regret. Actually, you'll still wake up with those things, it'll just be unrelated to major monetary loss.

To Eat or Not To Eat?

That is the question. Before any drinking endeavor, it's always best to eat an hour before your put your liver through the detox decathlon. Because it is Cinco de Mayo, you obviously want to eat Mexican food, right? Look, there's no coincidence that refried beans look the same on the way in as they do coming out. If you're not used to eating the stuff often, stuffing yourself with burritos and hot sauce is a recipe for disaster"”even before you factor in the gallons of beer and margarita mix you plan to consume.

Ideally, eating something you're used to at home is the safest (for your colon), most cost-effective route. However, if you insist on having some sort of Mexican cuisine, may you be struck with an incurable bout of Montezuma's Revenge if you even think about hitting up a Taco Bell, a Del Taco or any other low-grade, fast food taco joint. One thing is to be cost effective, another is to be just plain stupid.

[Note: You do get a free pass, though, if you go to those places after you're inebriated. Just keep telling yourself it wasn't your fault.]

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila"¦ Crap, I'm broke

We all know how expensive tequila can be. Correction: we all know how expensive good tequila can be. Sure, whatever pseudo-Mexican establishment you choose to go to will probably have a special on tequila, but chances are that same tequila will also be able to run your car. Imagine what that can do to your body.

Your best bet is to skip the tequila altogether"”your liver will thank you"”or bring your own, high quality stuff. For the price of about 7-10 shots of the good stuff, you can buy yourself an entire bottle of it. The stuff you bring in yourself can now be used to spike your beers, margaritas or just take shots from.

However, if the thought of sneaking in liquids gives your horrible flashbacks to that time TSA strip-searched you, then there's no shame in taking a couple of shots of liquid courage before you head out or right in the parking lot.

Accessorize"¦ or Not

If you have any sort of Mexican paraphernalia lying around your house, then by all means, grab it and sport it around like you're freaking George Lopez's cousin. Then you can make fun of all the losers without sombreros or Mexican flag t-shirts.

However, if you don't have any fun stuff lying around, don't even bother buying. Seriously, for what? So that it lays around in a closet for a year, possibly soaked in beer and fermenting in there? Besides, it's always fun to call staggering drunks with sombreros Speedy Gonzalez in your most ironic tone of voice possible.

Sure, the last two paragraphs were completely inconsistent, but it's Cinco de Mayo. When we're all drinking, we all win!

Finally, the main thing you'll want to remember"”as his been mentioned before on this site"”is to leave your credit cards at home and keep yourself on a strict cash budget.

If you can get through that, then you'll only have to wait another 45 weeks for the next drinking holiday not named Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years or Arbor Day.